Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre

Family, Kinship and Childhood

Family, Kinship and Childhood


This theme is closely related to our research interests in reproductive and genetic medicine.

It focuses more on the socio-ethical effects that these technologies can have on ideas about families and family members.

We generate useful empirical data on families and kinship. We bring fresh light to traditional debates about:

  • the identity of individuals in and outside families
  • their obligations and responsibilities
  • past and future community narrative

Read about our projects and publications within this theme.

A presentation on the subject of family ethics.
A presentation on the subject of family ethics.


Find out what projects we've been involved in.


Donor conception, secrecy, and the voice of the UK patients, 2012

Funding: Sociology of Health and Illness Foundation Mildred Blaxter post-doctoral fellowship, £39,100
Recipient: Ilke Turkmendag

Kinship and genetic journeys: A study of the experiences of families who are referred to paediatric genetics, 2008 – 2012

Funding: ESRC, £395,000 to PEALS Principal Investigator: Janice McLaughlin Co-Investigators: Erica Haimes and Dr Michael Wright, Northern Genetics Service
Read more about this project.

Ethics of family in health and social care research consortium, 2011

PEALS is a partner in this research consortium, launched in 2011.
Read more about this project.

Parenthood and nonparenthood in an age of reproductive technologies, 2009-2011

Funding: British Academy, £6,900
Principal Investigator: Stephanie Lawler
Co-investigator: Jackie Leach Scully

Parents, Professionals and Disabled Babies: Identifying Enabling Care, 2009

Funding: ESRC
Principal Investigator: Dan Goodley (University of Sheffield)
Co-Investigator Janice McLaughlin
Read more about this project.

Genetics and Kinship: finding morality at their intersection. Living with the aftermath of genetic testing for Lynch Syndrome. What are the intersections between genetics and kinship? 2007-2011

Funding: Cancer Research UK Nursing Fellowship, £160,000
Academic Supervisor and grant holder: Dr Janice McLaughlin
Read more about this project.

Parent and staff reactions to feticide prior to termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly, 2004

Funding: Newcastle Health Care Charity, £3,552 to PEALS
Principal Investigators: Stephen Robson and Judith Rankin
Consultant: Erica Haimes

IVF and stem cell research: networking collaboration, 2004

Funding: Medical Research Council
Principal Investigator: Professor Peter Braude, Guy’s, Kings and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine


Find out about some of our publications for this theme.


McLaughlin J, Clavering EK. Visualising Difference, Similarity and Belonging in Paediatric Genetics. Sociology of Health and Illness 2012, 34(4). In Press

McLaughlin J. Modes of care and mothering: How does citizenship and care intersect in the lives of mothers of disabled children?. In: Dahl, HM; Keränen, M; Kovalainen, A, ed. Europeanization, Care and Gender: Global Complexities. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp.94-107

McLaughlin J, Clavering EK. Questions of kinship and inheritance in paediatric genetics: substance and responsibility. New Genetics and Society 2011, 30(4), 399-413

Clavering EK, McLaughlin J. Children's participation in health research: from objects to agents?. Child: Care, Health and Development 2010, 36(5), 603-611